Nation's Tri blog

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The primary benefit and value of having your footstrike analyzed is ensuring a clear road ahead while embarking on a training program. There are two elements that go into a shoe that works for you, and if either ingredient is lacking, then the net result is the wrong shoe. The fit of the shoe, how it fits the contour of your foot is critical to not having any discomfort on your foot itself. The function of the shoe, how it supports the arch and correct, will ensure that the rest of the kinetic chain stays positively aligned.

The interaction of two foot bones, the Talus and Calcaneus, ultimately determines what level of support you would best benefit from. Roughly 80% of the people that come through our doors have a generous amount of stretch in the ligaments that hold these bones together, and this stretch causes the arch to drop and pressure to be distributed medially through the foot, ankle and leg. After thousands and thousands of steps with high impact force, this is what causes the body to develop a whole host of overuse issues.

The start of our process is to analyze foot shape, symmetry, and arch structure using our Aetrex pressure scanner.  Once this has been completed, we then move to a video footstrike analysis where we watch the motion of the foot/shoe striking the ground and what type of reaction occurs from there. As you run, 3-4X your body weight worth of force is distributed into your foot and travels up the leg with each step. This stress, if the mechanics of the shoe do not match the foot can contribute to many common running injuries: shin pain, knee pain, stress fractures, hip pain, and the like. Getting the function of your foot dialed in with the right type of shoe is where we split hairs. Small variances in arch collapse can lead to different levels of support being recommended.

After we have determined where on the spectrum your foot falls, we select 3-4 models which a) we think will fit the contour of your feet and b) will provide the necessary level of support or function for your feet. At this point, each individual has better feedback on which shoe feels the most comfortable than the shoe expert can provide; we can’t tell you what you think feels best. It is important to note that as the body changes through more training, weight gain or loss, aging, the specific action of your foot may change. We typically recommend having your footstrike re-evaluated every 6 months to 1 year to ensure that the shoes that used to work for you are still matching the function of your mechanics.

Dave Miller
=PR= Footwear | Operations
Potomac River Running

Potomac River Running

Potomac River Running is a family-owned, locally based running specialty store with locations in Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Cleveland Park, Falls Church, Leesburg, Reston, Rockville, and now Fairfax! We opened in the Spring of 2003 in Loudoun County with the goal of sharing our passion for an active lifestyle with the community. Since opening our doors in Ashburn nearly a decade ago, we have worked to extend our commitment to the running and walking community throughout the Washington DC Metro area.